Shiny object syndrome happens when we let ourselves be distracted

from reaching our goals.


When Jane (name changed) first came to see me, I watched her fidget as she tried to find a comfortable position on the couch. Finally, she sat down and grabbed a colourful cushion that she placed in front of her tummy.


When I asked her “How are you?” she smiled politely and replied, “I’m fine.”


Through my talking with her, I found out that Jane was working in a field that she disliked. Can you relate?


Asked what it was about her field profession that she disliked, the young woman talked about her bosses not caring about how she felt or what happened to her on the job. She was thinking of quitting her job and pursue the next shiny object.



Have you ever thought the next shiny object

might be the solution to all your problems?


After work, Jane revealed that she often went home and sat in front of the television to distract herself. After she felt bored watching television, she reached out for potato chips, ice cream, and chocolate.


Because she was letting herself get distracted by every shiny object in front of her, Jane was feeling guilty and ashamed over her lack of focus.


What would you love to focus on as a career?


Jane’s face lit up! She threw the colourful cushion aside, leaned forward, and told me that she wanted top focus on starting her own business.


Wanting to assist, I asked Jane to email me a one paragraph mission statement by the following Wednesday, no later than 7:00 pm.


Laughing, Jane replied, “That’s it?” 


I smiled. “That’s it.”


Wednesday came and I did not receive her mission statement.


At our next coaching session, I asked Jane, “What happened to you focusing on starting your own business?”


The young woman looked at the ground and mumbled that she had been distracted by errands she had had to run for members of her family. She then added,

“I want to live my life for me!”


Let me ask you…


Why do we become unfocused?

Why do we pursue a shiny object?


I believe the answer is, because we think our life will get easier. But is that true? If you think that’s the case, then how was Jane chasing shiny objects ever going to help her build her own business?


Clearly, pursuing shiny objects does NOT work.


With that in mind …



Here are three (3) tips to assist you in overcoming Shiny Object Syndrome:


Once you have identified the main goal you want to reach:


  • Break down your main goal into manageable slices of actions. Just like most of us eat a pizza slice by slice, refrain from shoving a whole pizza in your mouth. Ensure each slice goal is specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable, and has a completion date.


  • Allot unwavering blocks of time for eating each slice goal. We all know eating a slice of pizza while running or diving under water may cause serious hazard to our physical and emotional health. Devote specific blocks of time to work on every slice goal that you have for you.


  • Have an accountability system/person in place. Though many of us say we ‘know’ never to run with food in our mouth, we become more conscious of our words and actions when another person holds us accountable for what we avoid doing to reach every slice goal in our main objective.



Now imagine somebody has just read these tips …


What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?


Before she first came to see me, Jane had all the best intentions in the world, but she lacked a solid accountability system. She is now the proud owner of an incorporated business.


For coaching inquiries, contact meat or reach out to me at


Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,